How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
This book is a memoir of the author. . .  her reading throughout growing up and how they affected and changed her life.   Ms. Ellis is British with Iraqi Jewish family/ancestry.  In fact, there is a very interesting section of the book in which she tells the story that when she was a teen, her first serious boyfriend was also Jewish, but as their relationship progressed, he became increasing Orthodox, and wanted her to join him in that.  It was because of the some of the books she had been reading that made her think more about whether that was something that she really wanted for herself.  Ultimately, it wasn’t.  I found this very moving actually.

What I liked the most was the chapter when Ms. Ellis describes reading some of my favorite books as a girl and how they affected her – A Little Princess by Frances Hodgeson Burnett and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  I agree that Anne is a better orphan than Sara Crewe, among other points of interest and observation.

I could write so much more about this book, and I will try to edit/add more in the near future.  I just wanted to get this review up today!

(Summer Reading 2015, Book 6 of 30)

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Secrets of the Book by Erin Fry

Secrets of the Book by Erin Fry (2014)

I highly recommend this book for readers ages eight to twelve.   It is an adventurous read.  A boy named Spencer (who is going blind eventually, though not yet in this book) and his friend Gregor (who is on the autism spectrum) love to run, and that is how they become friends.   Spencer’s mom is into doing kind things and so has him signed up to visit regularly with an older man at an assisted living home.  The older gentleman is Ed.  Ed has a book he acquired many years before in Europe.  It is rather magic – if just the right person taps the page and pulls the book mark across, the person on that page will spring to life outside the book.   We readers meet Teddy Roosevelt, Socrates, and Martin Luther King, among others.   However, there is someone after Ed, Spencer, Gregor and Ed’s great-granddaughter Mel who want to get his hands on this book.  And there is another mysterious gentleman who looks remarkably like Al Capone.  How does this all tie together?  Read this book and find out!

O is for One-Way to Ansonia

Title:  One-Way to Ansonia
Author: Judie Angell
Original Publication Date: 1985
Date I First Read: 1988
Basic Category: Juvenile/Teen Historical Fiction
Basic Summary: Rose immigrates to the US from Russia or Eastern Europe at age 10 in the 1890s.  It is the story of her growing up in difficult circumstances in New York City.
What I Remember About the Book: I remember really liking this book.  I loved historical fiction, so this one was perfect for me.   I remember most that she got married really young, and had a baby.   She went to English classes. 
What I Took Away From the Book:  Don’t have a baby really early. Wait.  (Um, yes, I actually waited until my 30s.)  Work hard and you make things happen.      
Rating (1-5 stars):  4 (at the time – I need to re-read it!) 

2004 Favorite Reads List

Here is my list of “Favorite Reads” from 2004 (in alphabetical order, chosen from more than 150 book that I had read or listened to for the first time that year):


The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg (Fiction, 2004)

Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot (Fiction, 2004) [Note: I met the author in person that year.]

Dark Tower series by Stephen King (Fiction, 1982-2004)

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeffry Lindsay (Fiction, 2004) [Note: Loved the audio cd. Do not love the tv show.]

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (Fiction, 2003)

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin (YA Fiction, 2004)

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Juvenile/YA Fiction, 2003)

Millbank; Or Roger Irving’s Ward by Mary J. Holmes (Fiction, 1871)

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding (Fiction, 2004)

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde (Fiction, 2004)

Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed (Fiction, 2004)

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson (Fiction, 2004)

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer (Nonfiction, 2003)

The Weight-Loss Diaries by Courtney Rubin (Nonfiction, 2004)

What are Presidents Made of? by Enoch Piven (Picture Book, 2004)

Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson (YA Fiction, 2000-2002)